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Wellesley scarecrow contest expands categories to recognize pandemic heroes

[Submitted]

The Wellesley Fall Fair committee is stuffing things up a little differently for this year’s scarecrow contest, adding a “hero” category in recognition of those who have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to making typical scarecrows, for instance, contestants can create figures that reflect the likes of first-responders.

Being involved in running the contest since 2018, Miranda Schultz said she hopes people’s front lawns and places of business can show gratitude to the local heroes of Wellesley Township.

“For the hero scarecrow, I would encourage everyone who can to make one. There’s no prize money for the people that entered, but there will be thank-you gifts for the heroes they are representing.

“On behalf of the fair [we want to ensure] that we’re thanking the people who have made such sacrifices and hard work,” she said, using the example of mothers who have taken up homeschooling as an example of the broad range of local heroes that should be recognized.

Schultz says last year’s turnout was lower than a typical year with more than 20 entries, a situation she attributes to putting on hold the contest’s business category given the pandemic. Individuals and families were encouraged to take part, however.

She equates part of the reason for the smaller turnout was the pausing of the business category.

“We didn’t do businesses, because at that point the provincial regulations were still [in flux], so I didn’t think it was fair to run one if businesses wouldn’t be open. It would be difficult – who was coming into work, who wasn’t? We just wanted to make things safe that way.

“But this year, we do have businesses, so I’m hoping we’ll get a larger turnout. Usually, we have maybe about 10, anywhere from five to 10 businesses that sometimes participate. I’m hoping we’ll have maybe closer to 30 this year.”

As with many of the fall fair events such as Wellesley Idol and the selection of a fair ambassador, the contest’s in-person ceremony was put off due to the pandemic – winners were announced through social media instead. This year, a virtual announcement ceremony will be held coinciding with the digital fair on September 14.

To register for the competition, email wellesleyfallfair.scarecrows@gmail.com. Registration must be completed by August 31.

“I want to encourage everyone that it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, it doesn’t have to be anything super big and fantastic. It’s just something really fun for everyone to do, especially since a lot of people have been kind of cooped up inside. If they want to get creative and do something that could be distant outside, it’s a great opportunity,” said Schultz.   

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